Creating a website can be daunting at first, but nobody makes it easier than WordPress. Let’s look at some basic steps to take to ensure the success of your website. 

Choose a good theme

A theme is the design of your website, and choosing a good theme is important. It is not the most important, but it will help with user experience. 

Try to choose a theme that is relevant to your industry or niche. For example, if you are selling consulting services but your theme is fully image based for a designers gallery, this is not going to help the user experience on your site. The great thing about WordPress is that they have themes for most niches, from legal businesses to travel blogging etc. WordPress makes it simple by offering free themes to get you up and running, or there are some paid themes with added extras. 

I would recommend choosing something that looks fairly simple and with a white background as it seems to appear more pleasing on the eye than a darker colour. 

Back up regually

Trust me; it does happen. Mistakes happen, websites fail, things get deleted by accident. This is why I strongly suggest backing your data up regally. Depending on how active you are on your site (and you should be). I personally recommend weekly. 

Also, if you plan at any stage to change your theme, you want to have a backup just in case anything goes wrong. 

I use a plugin called “updraft plus” which has a free version and automatically saves your website locally. 

Choose a good security plugin

Ok, WordPress is great. However, hackers are continually hacking WordPress sites and all other sites. It happens all the time. So simply download a security plug-in to help protect your website. There is free versions with are good. There are some paid ones that are better. Anything is better than nothing. 

Check and test everything

When your site is up and running, you want to make sure it all works. So I recommend checking the following. 

**Social media buttons

Do your buttons to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. work. View your page, click on them and make sure. 

**Mobile view

Grab your mobile and view your website. How does it look? Remember that a major proportion of internet traffic now comes from mobile, so this is key. Does it shrink to mobile view ok?

**Loading speed

In today’s world speed is everything, people will not wait a few extra seconds for your site to load they will just click back. So check your site speed. You can use Googles speed checker here  

**Image size

Image size plays a big factor on website size and speed. Are your images too big and causing a delay in loading, do they shrink for viewing on mobile ok? 

***Check that all your links are working. 

Is the navigation from your homepage to other pages working? Are your links set up correctly? View your page and click on the links to find out. 

Install google analytics on Day 1

Personally, I think this is the most important tip. How will you know if your site is going in the right direction if you are not monitoring the site analytics?  This means visitors to the site, how long they spend on site, which page they visit and how long they spend on that page. 

Google analytics is so easy to install, no coding is required and its free. WordPress has free plugins to help install it on your site.  Click here for Google Analytics 

Permalinks

Permalinks are the names of your links for pages you create; there are several different formats for this.  Check your setting on your WordPress site; if they are set to date and time, this is not good, you MUST create your own permalink using the post name option with a good SEO page name relating to the page. This will dramatically help you with the SEO ranking. You can change this setting in your WordPress website settings.

Example:

Www.abc.com/05-12-2018  (wrong)

Www.abc.com/Top-ten-tips-for-better-SEO-ranking (Correct)

The second will tell search engines what the page is actually about and also your site visitors, this does help a lot. 

 

So there we have it. Do you have anymore essential tips, leave them in the comments below.

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